|Cellarmaker Brewing Company
1150 Howard Street | San Francisco, CA
Cellarmaker Brewing Company, located in San Francisco, CA, opened in October 2013. They focus on brewing small batch experimental beers, including several hop-driven brews. In fact, of the first 100 beers brewed at Cellarmaker, 73 of them were unique.
Cellarmaker brews can be found in about 20 to 25 different locations around the Bay Area. The limited distribution allows them to brew flagship beers as needed, but concentrate on testing different hops, grains, barrels and yeasts.
Beers at the tasting room are available in 5 ounce tasters, half pints, and pints to enjoy in house as well as 1 liter and 64 ounce growlers to go.
The beers on tap during our visit included…
- Blonde Moms – 4.3% ABV Fruit Beer with apricots
- Daphne – 4.9% ABV Blonde Ale hopped with Motueka and Amarillo
- Tiny Dankster – 6.0% ABV Pale Ale hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic and Citra
- Steve Surprise – 5.7% ABV Pale Ale hopped with Citra, Simcoe, Riwaka and Mosaic
- Tim’s Brown – 6.4% ABV Hoppy American Brown dry hopped with Comet
- Saison Francisco – 5.1% ABV Brett Saison fermented with a blend of Dupont, French Farmhouse yeasts, 3 strains of Brett and 2 strains of Lactobacillus.
- Batch 1 Porter – 4.9% ABV English Porter brewed with English malts and Slovenian hops
- Typo Pills – 5.2% ABV Pilsner brewed with 100% German Pilsner malts
- Original Dankster – 8.6% ABV Dank Double IPA
- Mocha & CIgarettes – 8.9% ABV Smoked Porter with vanilla bean and cocoa nibs
- Sharing Sandwiches – 6.1% ABV Brett IPA collaboration with Highland Park Brewery
- Bless the Rains – 6.6% ABV IPA brewed with 100% South African Hops
It’s honestly hard to choose a favorite, as all of the beers I tried were delicious. I really enjoyed Tiny Dankster because the fresh hop aroma and flavors were spot on. Notes of pineapple, apricot, papaya, and lemon burst in your mouth.
Mocha & CIgarettes was another stand out. It’s no surprise that I love smoked beers, but the bitter punch of the local coffee was balanced perfectly by the addition of vanilla and cocoa nibs.
There is no food available at Cellarmaker, but they encourage you to bring in food from one of the local eateries. Suggestions include Vive La Tarte, Deli Board, Citizen’s Band, Cathead’s BBQ, or El Capitan.
Local friends may notice something familiar if you consider buying swag at Cellarmaker. One of the T-shirts looks strangely similar to the Tired Hands Brewing Company logo. This is because Cellarmaker brewed a collaboration beer with Jean from Tired Hands in November 2013.
The collaboration beer was called Taco Hands. The beer name started as a joke (taco hands is the state of having taco smelling hands for hours after eating tacos no matter how much rigorous scrubbing they see), but turned into a Tired Hands and Cellarmaker creation.
The conceptual beer inspired by tacos was an IPA with flaked maize and taco shells. It was spiced with cumin, coriander, black pepper, sea salt, pasilla chiles, cilantro and the zest and juice of 140 limes then hopped with Citra and New Zealand Motueka.
The beer was released in December 2013 with a taco truck out front and limited Taco Hands t-shirts designed by Tim Sciascia of Cellarmaker and Jean Broillet of Tired Hands. The beer was brewed again in April 2014 and released on Cinco de Mayo.
While I’m bummed that I didn’t get to try Taco Hands, the crew at Cellarmaker assured me that it will be brewed again. Perhaps my next California trip will center around that release.
Cellarmaker is no joke. They were recently awarded the number 3 spot on RateBeer’s 2015 list of Top New Brewers in the World, and I can see why. Each beer is creative, complex and super tasty. This is one brewery I will definitely visit again next time I’m in San Francisco.
Cellarmaker is open Tuesday to Thursday 3 to 11 PM, Friday and Saturday noon to 11 PM, and Sunday 1 to 8 PM. They are closed on Monday.